Are you a single or partnered cook who’s constantly making far more food than you need? Do you find yourself throwing out bags of rotten greens? Are you frustrated by cookbooks that always serve four to six?
Then Joe Yonan of the Washington Post has written the guide for you. Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook teaches vegetarians and vegans how to cook and shop efficiently for one or two eaters.
Yonan’s Celery Soup with Apple and Blue Cheese uses up an entire bunch of celery, which is rarely an easy feat, even if you’re cooking for six.
And if you’re looking for a little more meat, check out Yonan’s earlier book Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One.
Celery Soup with Apple and Blue Cheese
(From Joe Yonan’s Eat Your Vegetables)
Makes about 5 cups, or four 1 1/4-cup servings
I’ve said it for years: God help the single cook who is looking for a manageable amount of celery. Supermarkets sell it by the bunch, and most recipes—even those for a family—usually call for a stalk or two at the most. Herewith, a delicious way to use the rest of the bunch. Tart apples and blue cheese add pep to the sometimes bland celery. And because of the larger problem of all that celery, I recommend making this soup in larger quantities. Transfer the extra portions (without the garnishes of extra apple and blue cheese) to single-serving ziplock bags and freeze for up to several months. Defrost in the refrigerator and add fresh garnishes when you are ready to eat it.
1 bunch (about 1 1/2 pounds) celery with leaves
2 large shallot lobes, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt (may substitute low-fat)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer stringy layer from the celery, and discard. Combine the stalks and any leaves, the shallots, stock, one of the apples, and 1/4 cup of the blue cheese in a soup pot over medium-high heat, stirring to submerge the solids as much as possible; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid is gently bubbling. Cover and cook until the celery and apples are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree until smooth, or transfer to a blender or food processor and carefully puree, working in batches if necessary. If you want to eat it cold, cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate until well chilled.
Stir in the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls (or store the remaining soup as described in the headnote). Top each portion with the remaining chopped apple and a tablespoon of the blue cheese, and serve.